Gentlemen, I really appreciate the advice. I bought a Daisy 853 from the CMP about 5 years ago and second that recommendation. I absolutely love it for myself and it allows me to practice in the garage, which is legal where I live. I don't think that it will work for my son though, because I would have to cut down the stock and it is "heavy" for a 6 year old. However, I do plan to let him shoot it, as he gets older.
I think I will look at the Crosman some more, however, I anticipate that I will run into the same problem with them that I do the Daisy Buck - it is hard to cock/pump. Right now he can cock them, but he has to put the gun vertically to cock it, or I can do it for him. I am also considering a semi-automatic C02 rifle. Unfortunately, the stores around me seem to only have 4-5 air rifles on the shelf at most, and they are in the box so you cannot feel them, which is why I am turning to the Appleseeders for help.
I looked at the Airsoft rifles, but was not impressed with the triggers. They do not really feel like a trigger because all they are doing is completing an electrical circuit to allow them to fire, thus there is no trigger "break." Also, I have not been able to find one that is just semi-automatic. A lot of them are full-auto, which is not an option that I want for a kid his age. Plus whenever I think of full-auto shooting, I am reminded of what Jeff Cooper said - paraphrasing, "If someone is shooting at me, I hope they are shooting on full auto."
I firmly believe in the Appleseed program. I shot on a competition team when I was in college and still learned a lot from the Appleseed shoot that I attended. When my son is ready (probably in the next six months), I can assure you, that he will attend an Appleseed event ever year. That way he can truly learn to be a rifleman and it will constantly reinforce the basic shooting skills. Unfortunately, the Appleseeds near my house are in frequent or a long drive. I drove 3 hours one-way when I did mine, spent the night, and I was exhausted at the end of it as a 34 year old and in good shape. Also, while I firmly believe in the fundamentals and learning them correctly from a young age, I think it is even more important to foster a love of shooting in my son. I talked it over with my wife, and she agreed that he does not have the patience at this point to enjoy an Appleseed event. He would think it was awesome in the morning, but would probably get tired and hot by the afternoon. That is not to say the situation will not be different in Jan/Feb, but that is our assessment now. I don't want him to get burned out or have a negative experience. I might be overly cautious of this, but I have seen it first hand with both my father and my father-in-law. For example, my father-in-law loves to hunt and spends an average of 80+ days a year in the woods now that he is retired, but none of his kids like to hunt because he did too much too soon with them. That is what I want to avoid and if it means he picks up some bad habits over a couple of months, but learns the fundamentals of how to safely handle a gun and gains a real passion for it, that is a risk I am willing to take. Please realize that my heart is in the right place, but every situation and every kid is different. Many Appleseeds are in his future though.